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rc psychology highlight: Research

Claire McDonald and Ben Campbell, both psychology seniors at Roanoke College, were recently featured on Roanoke’s website for their research experience. You can check out the full page here.

Claire McDonald, Class of 2022

Claire wasn’t sure what degree she wanted to pursue when she first came to Roanoke College. But during the fall semester of her sophomore year, she enrolled in a developmental psychology class, taught by Dr. Danielle Findley-Van Nostrand, assistant professor of psychology. She loved the class and, consequently, found her major.

In the spring of her sophomore year, McDonald joined a lab managed by Dr. Findley-Van Nostrand, which focused on adolescent and young adult peer relationships. This sparked her interest in research within psychology. This fall, Claire plans to work as a research intern at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Salem. She hopes to apply to graduate school to pursue a doctorate in clinical psychology with a specific interest in research related to dementia and cognitive impairment in older adults — experience Claire said she hopes to gain at the VA Medical Center. But she’s not the only psychology student that has recently made big steps in their research experience…

“Research has played a huge role in my college career and in my development as a student. It has been the most crucial and beneficial part of my college experience.”

Ben Campbell, Class of 2022

Ben Campbell has used his interest in relational aggression, peer social dynamics and gender to formulate a study. He used the study to apply for the College’s Summer Scholars Program and received the prestigious award, enabling him to carry a project titled “Effects of elicited jealousy on masculinity and relational aggression in men.” You can check out more info on his research journey in our previous blog post, found here.


In recent years, approximately 30 students each semester have been involved in research. The experiences are important not just for information discovery, but also for deepened learning, enhanced training on specific topics or methods, and the development of skills that graduate training programs and employers in careers utilizing psychology look for and highly value. As a research assistant, students also develop professional and mentoring relationships with their faculty mentor, and refine critical thinking and statistical reasoning skills.

“The experience to contribute to a discipline in a larger way is a special opportunity,” Dr. Findley-Van Nostrand said. “Apart from the professional skills developed, the research experiences students at Roanoke are involved in also contribute to the sense of community we have in the department.”

Research is the bedrock of the student experience in Roanoke College’s psychology department, which brought the College its seventh consecutive “Great Schools for Psychology Majors” recognition in The Princeton Review’s annual “Best Colleges” guidebook, released on Aug. 31.

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Get Connected!

Blog: https://psych.pages.roanoke.edu/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rcpsychology
Twitter: @RC_Psychology

Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/RC-Psychology-8140491/about
Website: http://www.roanoke.edu/inside/a-z_index/psychology

Instagram: rcpsychology

Congratulations to Ben Campbell!

Ben was just granted funding from Psi Chi, the International Honors Society in Psychology, for his research!

Benjamin Campbell ‘22 was recently a part of our Summer Scholars program here at Roanoke, during which he conducted a study that was built from previous work he completed in the Social Development Lab. Ben’s project is titled “Effects of Peer-Elicited Jealousy on Relational Aggression in Men: The Roles of Contingent and Threatened Masculinity”.  He worked very hard on this project, supervised by Dr. Danielle Findley-Van Nostrand. Leading up to the summer, they applied for and were successfully granted $1,118 to fund this and subsequent studies including Ben’s Honors in the Major Project. 

Project Abstract:

I asked Ben to give a summary of his research and he wrote,

“So, this summer I conducted a research project as a Summer Scholar at Roanoke. The study looked at how jealousy affects threatened masculinity and relational aggression use in men. In other words, does feeling jealous in a friendship context with other men also produce feeling less masculine, and thus result in using relational aggression? My results found that following jealousy provoked by male peers, men felt less masculine and used more relational aggression relative to men who were not in the jealousy condition. But, some effects did not emerge as expected. I applied for funding from the “Psi Chi Undergraduate Research Grant” and was awarded it. So, I got funding to continue my project. In my honors in the major, I plan on expanding on the summer project and potentially investigating other variables that may play into the effects I found this summer. Overall, I thought the summer scholars experience was great, and the funding from Psi Chi is amazing.”

Congratulations again to Benjamin Campbell, keep up the great work and we are excited for what your future has in store.

Welcome Back Social!

When? This Friday ! (September 3rd from 11:45-1:15)

Where? Courtyard between Life Science and Trexler!

Please join your fellow Psychology students and faculty at a Welcome Back social on Friday, 9/3! We will meet in the courtyard area between Life Science and Trexler between 11:45a and 1:15p. Snacks and drinks will be provided, plus you can purchase an RC Psychology shirt! All students are welcome – majors, minors, concentrators, students currently in psychology classes, and students who may potentially take psychology classes in the future! Hope to see you there!

Get connected:

Instagram & Twitter:  #PsychRC
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/rcpsychology
Blog:  https://psych.pages.roanoke.edu/
Linked In:  https://www.linkedin.com/groups/RC-Psychology-8140491/about
Website:  http://www.roanoke.edu/inside/a-z_index/psychology

CONGRATULATIONS VANESSA PEARSON: HONORS DEFENSE

Vanessa presenting during her defense on May 17, 2021

Congratulations to Vanessa Pearson ’21 for the successful defense of her Honors in the Major Project titled, “Influences on Paternity Leave” on May 17th. Her research mentor, Dr. Darcey N. Powell, was joined by committee members, Dr. Danielle Findley Van-Nostrand and Dr. David Nichols to oversee her defense. Her project abstract is pasted below.

Vanessa with her Honors in Psyc t-shirt!


Project Abstract:
The overall purpose of this study was to understand the factors that are involved when a father is deciding whether or not to take paternity leave with the birth/adoption of a child. The research was centered around two groups of participants. Study 1 sampled fathers with a child under the age of five. Study 2 sampled prospective fathers – men who are not yet fathers but may be at some point in the future. Participants completed an online survey that asked about their demographics, desired days off, and willingness to take certain types of leave. Most of the hypotheses were not significant or unable to be tested due to sample limitations. For example, several social-demographic factors were not associated with the number of days or types of leave one would take. Even though the findings were not significant, this could mean that the proportion of men who are taking or plan to take paternity leave are increasing and the factors that are holding them back are decreasing. Additionally, while fathers were more likely to know about FMLA than prospective fathers, a majority in both samples believed the US did not have an acceptable leave policy.

Congratulations again to Vanessa Pearson ’21 on a successful defense! We look forward to seeing all you accomplish in the future!

Success Stories for Alumni Amidst a Pandemic

We have all struggled throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, but along with the bad days came some very good ones! Psychology students at Roanoke College are no exception to this experience. This post is highlighting some  of the good that has come out of the past year: we are so proud of all of our students, but we especially want to shoutout the following graduates who have made the best of their situation and are one step closer to living their dream!

joelkirschenbaum happy celebrate yay skate GIF


Rachel Harmon

Rachel Harmon graduated after the Spring 2020 semester. We recently heard that she will be entering graduate school at the University of Alabama in the Fall of 2021! She will be working towards her Ph.D. in Clinical Child Psychology.  Congratulations Rachel!

Psychology Clinic – University of Alabama College of Arts & Sciences | The University of Alabama
https://psychologyclinic.ua.edu/


Sophie Bacon

Sophie Bacon graduated after the Spring 2020 semester. We were so excited to hear that she will be working towards her Masters in Human Development Counseling! She will be completing her masters degree in graduate school at Vanderbilt University in the Fall of 2021. Congrats Sophie!

Vanderbilt University - Profile, Rankings and Data | US News Best Colleges
https://www.usnews.com/best-colleges/vanderbilt-3535


Ji’Asia Anderson

Ji’Asia Anderson is a recent graduate from Roanoke College. We are so proud to hear that she will be entering the workforce through a company called New Essecare of NJ as a case manager! This company focuses on helping people with mental illnesses in their daily lives and making sure that they are able to have basic skills to cope with their triggers and live independently. Congratulations!

https://www.timeout.com/new-jersey

Ji’Asia says that “you can tell that the people we work with appreciate the help and sometimes it’s the only help that they can get to help with their basic needs. I usually help my clients with making doctor appointments or finding primary doctors, working through coping skills to help them control their triggers for their disorders or help them identify them if they aren’t aware of their triggers. I talk to my clients daily to evaluate how they are doing and help provide them with activities to do at home, since most of them are bored and stressed out from being at home most of the day.”


In addition to the amazing work of the alumni showcased above, soon-to-be-graduated students like Lauren Powell are also working harder than ever! 

Lauren Powell is graduating at the end of this semester and has already solidified her plans to go to graduate school. She will be getting her M.Ed. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from the University of Lynchburg. She is excited because the department there seems a lot like the psychology department at Roanoke in that it is tightly knit and everyone is close.

Campus Store – University of Lynchburg

“I am so sad to leave Roanoke behind but my time here was incredible and I’m excited to move forward with my education. I know Roanoke prepared me well.” – Powell

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Get Connected!

Bloghttps://psych.pages.roanoke.edu/
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/rcpsychology
Twitter: @RC_Psychology
Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/RC-Psychology-8140491/about
Website: http://www.roanoke.edu/inside/a-z_index/psychology
Instagram: rcpsychology

Local Organization Highlight: Thriving Families Counseling

A current Psychology student at Roanoke College, Grace Page, is completing an internship with Thriving Families Counseling, so we decided to highlight this local organization and share her experience and story. Thriving Families Counseling is a counseling center that provides services for adults, children, and adolescents.

Their services include individual, family, and group counseling sessions, and creative therapeutic modalities to address psychological distress (such as depression or anxiety), substance abuse, stress, family problems, grief, and much more.

The mission statement for Thriving Families Counseling (TFC) is: “to provide support, encouragement, compassion, and unconditional positive regard to adults, children, adolescents, and families while guiding them to find their inner resources and true Selves so that they may heal, grow, and learn to thrive in life”.

Grace Page is the first undergraduate intern TFC has ever had and sets a great example of how students can seek out engaging opportunities in the Roanoke Community. Grace had previously been a part of Roanoke’s Career Services’ Maroon Mentor program, and her mentor happened to work at TFC. After getting to know the Mentor, she was able to talk to her boss to work out an internship for Grace, creating the position based on Roanoke’s internship criteria.


“My favorite part about doing an internship is getting real-life experience working with someone in a position I hope to be in someday in the future.” – Grace Page


While TFC may not have other positions available for students, Grace sets an amazing example of what can happen when students step outside of their comfort zone a bit and independently search for meaningful opportunities. If struggling to find a place to start, students can always reach out to faculty members or the department’s head of internships, Dr. Findley-Van Nostrand.

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Get Connected!

Bloghttps://psych.pages.roanoke.edu/
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/rcpsychology
Twitter: @RC_Psychology
Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/RC-Psychology-8140491/about
Website: http://www.roanoke.edu/inside/a-z_index/psychology
Instagram: rcpsychology

Get Involved In Roanoke

Looking for ways to get involved with your community, both on and off campus? We’re here to give you some ideas how to do just that!

Home | Roanoke College
https://www.roanoke.edu/

Roanoke College has a ton of different opportunities to get more involved in the psychology department.

  1. The first thing you can do is check out our recent post about research and internship opportunities. Titled, “Debating What To Do Over Summer”, this post gives you a good overview on what an internship/research opportunity is, how it can benefit you, and who to contact for more information.
  2. Join student organizations! The Roanoke College Psychology Association and Psi Chi National Honor Society in Psychology have more information on membership at this link.
  3. Our website homepage also has links for more information on working for the department as a student assistant, signing up for research studies, and following our multiple social media accounts (including a LinkedIn group)!

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https://www.facebook.com/rcpsychology/photos/1283538528338346

If you are looking for ways to get involved in the community beyond Roanoke College, one of the best ways to do so is to volunteer! Depending on what your interests are, Roanoke City and Salem have plenty of opportunities suited for you!

  1. If you are interested in working with children, organizations like CHIP and the Community Youth Program are always on the lookout for passionate volunteers!
  2. If your interests revolve around an older population, hospice centers are often in desperate need for volunteers. BUT, there are also other opportunities to work with this population, such as with Friendship Retirement Community.
  3. There are plenty of more unique volunteer experiences in Roanoke and Salem that can highlight skills learned in psychology. Some of these include volunteering with Huddle Up Moms and Make A Wish of Greater Virginia.

Student Life | Roanoke College
https://www.roanoke.edu/studentlife

Besides volunteering, check out this calendar of events to stay up-to-date on what fun stuff is happening in and around Roanoke!

Whatever your passion is, we hope this gave you an idea of some of the awesome opportunities Roanoke College and the surrounding areas have to build a sense of community. Have any more ideas or great suggestions? Leave a comment below!

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Get Connected!

Bloghttps://psych.pages.roanoke.edu/
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/rcpsychology
Twitter: @RC_Psychology
Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/RC-Psychology-8140491/about
Website: http://www.roanoke.edu/inside/a-z_index/psychology
Instagram: rcpsychology

Survey participants needed!

Kira Hunt, a rising senior in Psychology is recruiting participants for a study as part of her Honors Distinction Project. Please see below for details:

 

We would like to invite you to be in a research study focused on sharing information in online dating that would take no more than fifteen minutes of your time. We ask participants are between eighteen and twenty-five. Participants who provide contact information are eligible to enter a raffle for a ten dollar gift card. Click on the link below to get started!

https://roanoke.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_3QS0ZIww5B4BhZz

Get Connected!

Bloghttps://psych.pages.roanoke.edu/
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/rcpsychology
Twitter: @RC_Psychology
Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/RC-Psychology-8140491/about
Website: http://www.roanoke.edu/inside/a-z_index/psychology
Instagram: rcpsychology

G.R.A.C.E. LAB SUMMER PROGRAM!

Image result for spelman college logo"

The Gender Race and Cultural Empowerment (G.R.A.C.E.) lab is hosting a 6-week summer program offering students the opportunity for one-on-one mentorship and research experience. The G.R.A.C.E. Lab’s emphasis is on social psychology with a focus on the experiences of Black women in STEM education.

Responsibilities include:

  • Recruiting study participants
  • Data collection and analyses
  • Attending weekly lab meetings

Qualifications for this position:

  • Strong academic performance in psychology,
    with a GPA requirement of 3.25 (overall and
    major)
  • Dependability and takes initiative
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills
  • Rising juniors and seniors preferred

This program will run from June 8 – July 17, 2020, and will be hosted at Spelman College. You are expected to be committed for all 6 weeks. While attending this program, a stipend, housing for 6 weeks, and a campus meal plan will be included.

They will begin selecting applicants into the program on a rolling basis until February 14, 2020.

If you are interested in applying to this program follow this link and email your cover letter, curriculum vitae, and your most
recent unofficial academic transcript to Dr. Maria Jones, Postdoctoral Research Associate, at mjones35@spelman.edu!

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Get Connected!

Bloghttps://psych.pages.roanoke.edu/
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/rcpsychology
Twitter: @RC_Psychology
Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/RC-Psychology-8140491/about
Website: http://www.roanoke.edu/inside/a-z_index/psychology
Instagram: rcpsychology